Glossary Term: Pedunculated (Polyp or Tumor)

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The term "pedunculated" means attached to a base by means of a peduncle or slender stalk. Examples include some types of flowers (e.g.. Bleeding Hearts), or animal body parts, such as the eye of a lobster.

A pedunculated polyp or tumor refers to a growth on a small stalk. This includes a range of growths, from a small skin tag to a larger growth, anywhere in the body. Growths such as this are often (but not always) benign and usually easy to remove surgically, either externally on the skin surface or internally with endoscopy or laparoscopy.

Pedunculated Skin Tag

Also called a Fibrovascular Papilloma, this skin mass has an appearance like a finger with a distinct pedunculated neck where it connects to the skin. Surgical removal is only called for if it is large, bothers the pet or if the owner considers it unattractive. Skin tags are harmless and not painful.

Strangulated Pedunculated Polyps

Pedunculated polyps or tumors inside the body can run the risk of becoming strangulated (twisted) and cut off from the blood supply; this causes cellular death and possibly infection as well as other problems. Contributing factors include the size of growth, its location, the length of the peduncle and more.

If you notice any growths (pedunculated or not) anywhere on your pet, contact your veterinarian for a complete examination and diagnosis. Many growths can be aspirated right there in the exam room. Your veterinarian will then have a good sense if for diagnosis or treatment is needed.

Rectoanal Polyps in Dogs

Rectoanal polyps are growths in the anal and rectal walls with protrusions like a flap. They can be pedunculated with a cylindrical connection like a stalk or directly attached to the intestinal wall.

Most polyps in the rectoanal area are benign, and they are simply extensions of the inner tissue lining of the intestinal walls. Typically these polyps are isolated, though some dogs deal with multiple rectoanal polyps. Dogs with these polyps will show straining or pain while eliminating stools, which may look bloody and/or covered with mucus. Treatment typically involved surgery -- the polyps can be taken out through the anal opening, or the surgery can be done endoscopically with an electrical needle or probe.

Pedunculated Polyps and Older Dogs

Middle-aged and senior animals can develop some growths that are considered normal with age, such as small eyelid tumors and warts. However, all growths should be checked and examined at least annually, sooner if it changes in size or character.

Acrochordons are common, benign lesions that develop on the skin of older dogs. There can be just one or multiple lesions, and while they're seen in all breeds, large dogs have an increased risk. Most commonly, they appear as pedunculated growths that originate at the epithelium and grow outward. Treatment is optional, but a biopsy is usually suggested to confirm the diagnosis. Acrochordons can be removed with excision, electrosurgery, and cryosurgery; however, dogs that have one are prone to develop more over time.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.